Monday, February 15, 2010

Microsoft Unveils Windows Phone 7 Series

Earlier today, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer showed off the next generation of Microsoft's mobile operating system: Windows Phone 7 Series.

BARCELONA, Spain — Feb. 15, 2010 — Today at Mobile World Congress 2010, Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the next generation of Windows® Phones, Windows Phone 7 Series. With this new platform, Microsoft offers a fresh approach to phone software, distinguished by smart design and truly integrated experiences that bring to the surface the content people care about from the Web and applications. For the first time ever, Microsoft will bring together Xbox LIVE games and the Zune music and video experience on a mobile phone, exclusively on Windows Phone 7 Series. Partners have already started building phones; customers will be able to purchase the first phones in stores by holiday 2010.
“Today, I’m proud to introduce Windows Phone 7 Series, the next generation of Windows Phones,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. “In a crowded market filled with phones that look the same and do the same things, I challenged the team to deliver a different kind of mobile experience. Windows Phone 7 Series marks a turning point toward phones that truly reflect the speed of people’s lives and their need to connect to other people and all kinds of seamless experiences.”
Designed for Life in Motion

With Windows Phone 7 Series, Microsoft takes a fundamentally different approach to phone software. Smart design begins with a new, holistic design system that informs every aspect of the phone, from its visually appealing layout and motion to its function and hardware integration. On the Start screen, dynamically updated “live tiles” show users real-time content directly, breaking the mold of static icons that serve as an intermediate step on the way to an application. Create a tile of a friend, and the user gains a readable, up-to-date view of a friend’s latest pictures and posts, just by glancing at Start.

Every Windows Phone 7 Series phone will come with a dedicated hardware button for Bing, providing one-click access to search from anywhere on the phone, while a special implementation of Bing search provides intent-specific results, delivering the most relevant Web or local results, depending on the type of query.

Windows Phone 7 Series creates an unrivaled set of integrated experiences on a phone through Windows Phone hubs. Hubs bring together related content from the Web, applications and services into a single view to simplify common tasks. Windows Phone 7 Series includes six hubs built on specific themes reflecting activities that matter most to people:

  • People. This hub delivers an engaging social experience by bringing together relevant content based on the person, including his or her live feeds from social networks and photos. It also provides a central place from which to post updates to Facebook and Windows Live in one step.

  • Pictures. This hub makes it easy to share pictures and video to a social network in one step. Windows Phone 7 Series also brings together a user’s photos by integrating with the Web and PC, making the phone the ideal place to view a person’s entire picture and video collection.

  • Games. This hub delivers the first and only official Xbox LIVE experience on a phone, including Xbox LIVE games, Spotlight feed and the ability to see a gamer’s avatar, Achievements and gamer profile. With more than 23 million active members around the world, Xbox LIVE unlocks a world of friends, games and entertainment on Xbox 360, and now also on Windows Phone 7 Series.

  • Music + Video. This hub creates an incredible media experience that brings the best of Zune, including content from a user’s PC, online music services and even a built-in FM radio into one simple place that is all about music and video. Users can turn their media experience into a social one with Zune Social on a PC and share their media recommendations with like-minded music lovers. The playback experience is rich and easy to navigate, and immerses the listener in the content.

  • Marketplace. This hub allows the user to easily discover and load the phone with certified applications and games.

  • Office. This hub brings the familiar experience of the world’s leading productivity software to the Windows Phone. With access to Office, OneNote and SharePoint Workspace all in one place, users can easily read, edit and share documents. With the additional power of Outlook Mobile, users stay productive and up to date while on the go.
Availability

Partners from around the world have committed to include Windows Phone 7 Series in their portfolio plans. They include mobile operators AT&T, Deutsche Telekom AG, Orange, SFR, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telstra, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone, and manufacturers Dell, Garmin-Asus, HTC Corp., HP, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Qualcomm Inc. The first phones will be available by holiday 2010. Customers who would like to receive additional information about Windows Phone 7 Series and be notified when it is available can register at http://www.windowsphone7series.com.

To watch the full replay of Steve Ballmer’s press conference at Mobile World Congress, and to experience Windows Phone 7 Series through an online product demo, readers can visit http://www.microsoft.com/news/windowsphone.

Today's Microsoft press release was posted on the Microsoft website.

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Run Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard on the Dell Mini 9















I had no idea this kind of modding was going on with the Dell Inspiron 910, aka the Mini 9! Looks like several teams of hackers have figured out how to boot the Intel processor edition of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard on the Mini 9, which I have sitting on my desk right now.

Dan, of UneasySilence.com writes:
"I’m a huge fan of ultra portables! They are small, light and just powerful enough to do what you need to get done. Sure I run Windows (in VMware), but for me the Mac OS better fits my lifestyle, but if you are looking for an ultra portable you are going to have to look beyond Cupertino.

So, when I got the Dell mini 9 all I wanted to do was put Leopard on it. With a little bit of tinkering and some help from a good blogging buddy Kevin Tofel I was able to painlessly install 10.5.4 on the little guy."
For directions on how to bake Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard into your Dell Mini 9, check out UneasySilence.com now.

[Thanks to Mark and Geri for the tip.]

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Orlando Update

A week ago Friday, I returned home after spending a week down in Orlando, Florida to attend the Open Text Content World user conference. As you will recall from my post about getting ready for the trip, I wanted to travel as light as possible.

Dell Inspiron 910 (aka: mini 9)

To my surprise, the Dell mini 9 worked really well. I was able to get about 5-6 hours of battery life out of the unit. That number still isn't enough to get me through a full 10-12 hour day; however, it was as good as my heavier Dell Latitide D630 with a 9-cell battery. To get the best possible battery life, you need to be smart about what you are doing.

During the day, I would use the built-in Wi-Fi radio. To conserve battery power, I would turn the radio on and off as needed. The same is true for the screen brightness. While I was using the notebook in a workshop or presentation that had the lights dimmed, I would turn down the brightness on the screen. When I was meeting with someone or using the notebook in the lounge area, I would turn the screen brightness up to a level that was comfortable to read in a room with full lighting.

The weight was fantastic. The mini 9 weighs less than 2.5lbs and you will appreciate not having a throbbing shoulder after traversing two airports. The quilted slip case that I purchased for it is considered "TSA safe" meaning that you can keep the notebook in the slip case while it is run through the x-ray machine.

Being a corporate asset, my team and I converted the base install of Windows XP Home SP3 to Windows XP Professional SP2. I was able to run all of my required corporate applications without any trouble. Applications did seem to run a little bit slower than my full powered Latitude D630, however, I was willing to accept the trade off.

The only thing that I really wasn't crazy about on the mini 9 was the size of the keyboard. I was able to touch type on the keyboard. The main Qwerty keys on the mini 9 where big enough for my fingers. What I didn't like was the keys that surrond the main keys. For example, the shift, tab, and alt keys were about half as big as you would expect them to be. I was forever hitting the wrong keys. I also didn't like having some keys being what I call "tipple stacked." For example, the equals key shifts to the plus key which is normal. However on the Dell mini 9, the equals key also blue Fn shifts to get the back slash key. Being in IT, typing in Windows directory and network paths can be a real pain in the neck. Over time, this will be something that you will get used to.

Palm Treo 755p

My Treo 755p performed as I expected it to: beautifully. I purchased an extended life battery for my Treo and it was able to keep running all day. I have my Treo programmed to check my various email accounts at 30 minute intervals. The Treo did a great job of tackeling email, weather updates, and some light web surfing through out the day. I did use the World Clock application as my alarm clock. If you chose to use your Treo as your alarm clock, just make sure that you set the ringer switch from silent back to ring mode. During the day, I keep my Treo in silent mode and at night I switch it back to ring mode so I can hear the alarm when it is time to start the day.

Apple iPod touch (1st Generation)

The last bit of technology that I took with me was my 16GB iPod touch. The battery in my year old iPod held up well while I was using it in the airport for music and podcasts and on the plane for TV shows and movies. One thing that did trip me up was not doing a list minute review of the iPod before I left the house. As it turned out, I had forgot to select the new TV shows and movies that I loaded on my MacBook (which was saying home). The cost for this mistake was leaving home with only half of the TV shows and only one movie that I had planned to watch on this trip.

All in all, the technology that I took on the trip with me worked well. I'll be taking another trip down to Orlando in another two weeks. (I love the fact that confernces move south when the weather turns cold up in New England.) This time, I plan to make sure I have my iPod chuck full of content.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Off to Orlando

In about 10 hours I'll be boarding a plane bound for Orlando, Florida. I'll be attending this year's Open Text Content World user conference.

This trip will be a little bit different than my last business trip in that I won't be bringing my Dell Latitude D630 or my Apple MacBook. This time out, I'm traveling relatively light for me. Tucked away in my carry on bag will be:
  • Dell Inspiron 910 (aka "Mini 9")
  • Palm Treo 755p
  • Apple iPod touch
As for accessories, I'll only be taking along the power adapter for the Mini 9, a 1GB USB flash drive, a wireless notebook travel mouse, and a JAVOedge Portable Battery Charger with tips for my Treo and iPod.

Compared with some of my other trips, I'm hardly carrying any gear at all! We'll see how this trip goes. I have another one coming up in about a month and I'm looking forward to reducing my tech load.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dell Inspiron 910


















Ok, so we all know that I've spent waaaay too much time obsessing over the Foleo. I can admit that. But today I ordered the device that I hope can replace my desire to have a Foleo, the Dell Inspiron 910; aka the "mini 9".

So that is the good news. The bad news is that because the ultra-light/UMPC market is so hot right now, the expected ship date for my black Dell mini 9 isn't until 11/19/08!!

I'll keep you posted.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Dell Confirms Sub-Notebook Plans
















Information Week has posted an article stating that they got a brief glimpse at Dell's upcoming sub-notebook computer at the D: All Things Digital conference. This device may have to due until I can get my hands on a Palm Foleo.

[cough]Again
[cough]

The black unit looks nice, and it would probably be the one I would normally go with. But, man, you can really make a statement with the candy apple red one. Maybe I'd get that one just to add a little bit of color to my life and shake things up a little bit.
















Read the Information Week article...

Read the Something from Dell at D6 blog post...

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Rumor: Dell Entering the Subnotebook Market

Brighthand's Ed Hardy has a new article up on Brighthand.com that suggests Dell will be entering the hot subnotebook market. If the rumor is true, look for Dell-branded offerings before the summer is over. Hardy writes:
"Citing an unnamed official at Compal Electronics in Taiwan, the Wall Street Journal says Dell is planning to launch a low-cost 8.9-inch mini-notebook, possible as early as June. This device, which reportedly will be produced by Compal, will start at $400."
If this rumor turns out to be true, my problem about what subnotebook to get will be moot. Since my company uses Dell hardware, it should be easy to get a unit in for "evaluation."

I will have to keep an eye out for this new device.

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